The Return of Big Spending Republicans?

Under President Obama, Republicans grew accustomed to their role opposing the prevailing winds of Big Government. Apparently the fastest way to turn conservative hawks into libertarian doves is to elect a national security hawk and Democrat as president. Now, the Right’s small-government rhetoric will be put to several key tests. Chief among them is whether they will bring military and entitlement spending under control, or let the national debt grow to even more unsustainable levels. Ivan Eland (Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute) spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, and served as Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office; he knows a national security threat when he sees one. He joins Bob to point out the elephant in the room – one that's not going anywhere just because of the new “elephant” in the oval office. Eland identifies the United States’ precarious fiscal situation as the single greatest threat to our security, citing retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen as one authority who can read the writing on the wall. President Trump may talk a big game when it comes to cutting wasteful military spending, but will he keep his promises to scale back U.S. intervention in the Middle East and elsewhere?

A. Trevor Thrall on Millennials' Attitudes Towards Foreign Policy

The recent 15th anniversary of 9/11 came and went with little ceremony, indicating that the symbolic resonance of the events may be gradually fading. For younger Americans, including some of the "millennial" generation born between 1980 and 1997, the events can hardly be remembered at all. What looms larger in millennials' minds is the War on Terror that has been waged in the wake of the attacks – the botched foreign interventions and erosion and civil liberties at home under the pretext of national security. Trevor Thrall is a professor at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute's Defense and Foreign Policy Department who has a particular interest in millennials' attitudes toward foreign policy. Last year, Thrall and his colleague Erik Goepner published a paper, Millennials and U.S. Foreign Policy: The next Generation’s Attitudes Toward Foreign Policy and War (and Why They Matter)exploring the impact of events that occurred in millennials' formative years on their perception of different threats and the appropriate response to them today. Does their skepticism about using force abroad mean that we are in good hands, or have the events since 9/11 led the rising generation to underestimate real threats apart from terrorism? Find out , on this week's episode of the Bob Zadek Show.

Ian Vasquez on the Prospects for a Free Cuba

Cuban dissidents and political prisoners have waited a long time for meaningful reforms in their country – and the wait isn’t over. Even since 2006, when Fidel “El Libertador” Castro ceded power to his younger brother Raul, the government has continued to oppress its people and shackle its economy. Despite rumors of a sunny socialist utopia 90 miles from the Florida Keys, the reality is that Cuba remains mired in poverty and human rights abuses at the hands of its authoritarian leaders. However, there have been doubts about the effectiveness of the United States’ attempts to undermine the Castro regime, especially when it comes to the long-standing trade embargo. Such policies may just provide ammunition to the Cuban government in the form of an external excuse for the widespread misery brought about by central planning. Ian Vasquez claims that freer travel and (eventually) trade with the U.S. may not defeat the communist regime, but they will help advocates for a free Cuba by growing the small, “informal” private sector in an economy mostly run by and for the state. Vasquez is director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. He joins the show against the backdrop of President Obama’s recent visit to Cuba to discuss the changes that are taking place. Bob looks to uncover a realistic view of the prospects for a free Cuba, and find out how Americans can help support a thriving civil society, as philanthropists, consumers and tourists.

Michael O'Hanlon on *The Future of Land Warfare*

On October 30, a war-weary American public once again heard its President announce the need for U.S. “boots on the ground” in the Middle East. Obama’s new strategy – a reversal of prior assurances – came in response to the civil war in Syria, which has ignited conflict in the entire region. Michael O’Hanlon, Director of Foreign Policy Research at the Brookings Institution, joins Bob to explain recent events, including Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet, and his new book, *The Future of Land Warfare.* O'Hanlon argues that the current crisis in the Middle East can be resolved, but it will take more than drone strikes and training Syrian ground forces. Experts seem to agree the U.S. military is facing many bad options.

The question is: should we really be intervening when the dust on the Iraq War is still settling?  Make up your own mind, and call in with your questions, this Sunday, on Talk 910 AM.

Anthony Alfidi on ISIS

As the U.S. tires of military involvement in countries like Iraq and Syria, the vacuum of power left in our wake has created new opportunities for extreme groups like the Islamic State to seize local control. Some libertarians argue on principle that complete exit is the only solution, since prior mistakes by Western powers seem implicated in the current mess. But even if we leave, ISIS may not be content to leave the rest of the world alone. Islamic State radicals are strengthening existing strongholds in the Middle East, while expanding into North Africa and planning new ways to ignite conflict across the globe – a precursor to their stated goal of a world-wide Caliphate. To understand where the real threats lie, and the appropriate response by a weary Western world, Bob is joined by Anthony Alfidi, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, and Founder and CEO of Alfidi Capital. Alfidi served in Iraq, where he observed the preconditions to the current situation unfolding firsthand. Based on his experience and research, he believes the media is not accurately portraying the threat posed by ISIS. Regardless of your stance on U.S. foreign policy, you won't want to miss this rare opportunity to hear the perspective of a military officer, rather than the usual talking heads.

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